Cloth masks and alternatives to cloth masks with more protection

Since we are seeing the Texas uptick in Covid cases… enjoy…

Respiratory Helmet (hardhat)

creative iterations out of Japan:

Argonne & Chicago study:

Hoodie with built-in mask and faceshield:

Cloth vs. Surgical, effectiveness:


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I’ve got one of these and a HEPA filter vacuum bag over the fan to make a crude hazmat suit lol

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Just a word of caution, the 3M respirator you listed, is not an approved face cover. The oneway exhaust valves, do not filter your exhaled breath.
The reason we need to wear masks, is they prevent/minimize the wearer from infecting others. Masks do not protect the wearer, as effectively.


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You raise an interesting point. I don’t have a respirator that’s good enough to use when I need a respirator that doesn’t have an exhaust valve.

Are the 3M exhaust-down masks “good enough” in this sense (since they’re not blowing exhalation toward other people) or would one need to put a bandana over the respirator? All the examples I’ve seen of “this doesn’t count” valved masks are the ones with the exhaust pointed straight out the front, like the valved disposable N95s.

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Well you’re raising a point I’ve long been troubled by- lots of masks use exhalation valves to bypass the filter, as they were intended to prevent inhaling bad things, not exhaling. This is more comfortable and generally “higher quality” ones, but are they effective at preventing an infected person from spreading COVID-19?

It’s an awkward controversy to have, given that we are already fighting to get more universal mask acceptance for masks of any sort.

TBH I’m skeptical of the “masks aren’t there to protect the wearer from others, it’s there to protect others from the wearer”. I don’t see why it wouldn’t primarily protect the wearer, quite well.

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I think its more a numbers game. In a room of 30 people, if one person who is sick doesn’t wear a mask, there is a high chance of everybody else int he room getting sick.

In a room full of 30 people, if the sick person is the only one wearing the mask fewer people get sick.

Statistics and probability can be a weird area of research.

I would say, a good quality mask, such as an N95 , or 3m respirator will protect you from infection. granted the respirator doesn’t help to prevent its spread to others.

While the clothe masks are meant more to protect others by catching your sneeze or coughs in the fabric. It helps some from you getting sick but not as much as it prevents others from getting it from you.

perhaps covering the exhaust vent with clothe like used for the masks to catch any aerosols would be a good work around? since it allows the air to vent out easier than the going through the filter, but still prevents spittle from getting into the air?

A few days ago, Gov. Abbott affirmed that a city/county CAN legally require businesses to require face coverings and social distancing of people on the premises, and Travis County has done so for all businesses in a supplemental to their prior order:

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Wolf et al, thanks for this – the Respirator link I posted had links to 6 masks, it looks like 4 of them feature the “Cool-Flow valve” - thanks, @dannym for the Fast Company article on valves and history. I’m interested in the bandana-over question @Jon -

Looking through techspecs for frank information about which specific models 3m says protect both wearer and others-

This is the one I have, on the 6200, which doesn’t have the Cool-Flow:

and I have these filters on it:

On specific models and their effectiveness, including NIOSH approval markings:

But I can’t tell by reading it who is protected.

I know you posted this a while ago. Anyway, the 6200 is a “cartridge” style respirator, and it HAS a oneway valve. ALL cartridge styles have a, oneway exhale valve, and are not ideal for COVID use. “Cool Flow” is just some manufacturer’s catchy name for the oneway valve. ALL oneway valves polute the air column around you, period.
Just FYI.

Peace, Wolf

Thanks, Wolf and all – yes, CoolFlow is their fancy terminology for “has exhaust valve” – just wanted to share this, I like Dallas’ Wiki which is kind of an FAQ and shows a photo of the mask they don’t want people wearing: